Sure, Park Slope has its brownstones. Red Hook has its restaurants. And Williamsburg has its Apple store. But if you have yet to venture out to Sunset Park—the harbor-adjacent area just south of Green-Wood Cemetery—you’re missing out on one of the coolest neighborhoods around. Here’s what awaits when you hop on a D/N/R train and spend a day in this little patch of green.
TAKE IN SPECTACULAR HARBOR VIEWS
The neighborhood’s namesake park offers Instagram-worthy panoramas of New York Harbor and the Lower Manhattan skyline. (Psst: It’s also home to Brooklyn’s highest hill.) While you’re there, take a leisurely stroll to get your fill of greenery on the park’s many meandering paths and wide-open lawns and in the September 11 Living Memorial Grove.
PEEP SOME GORGEOUS ARCHITECTURE
Fans of Romanesque and Renaissance-revival architecture will find plenty to love in the nabe’s historic district. The towering steeple of St. Michael’s Church (aka “Brooklyn’s Sacre-Coeur”) is hard to miss; pass by Our Lady of Perpetual Help to take in the largest church in Brooklyn. There’s also no shortage of row houses to ogle: Take a stroll down 43rd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues for the most picturesque bow-front brownstone views.
EXPLORE INDUSTRY CITY
The enormous collection of warehouses that sits on the water’s edge was once a major—surprise—industrial center. Check out Flavor Paper for custom, handmade wallpaper; Moore Brothers Wine Co. for natural vinos from small family producers; and Wanted Design for chic accessories and home decor. Should all that shopping make you hungry, you’re in good hands, between Colson Patisserie croissants, Table 87 slices and Bangkok Bar pad thai.
220 36th St., Brooklyn; 718-965-6450 or industrycity.com
GET YOUR CULTURE FIX
While not necessarily known for an abundance of museums, Sunset Park is home to a few worthy spots for any gallery-hopper. Tabla Rasa, located in a 100-year-old carriage house, showcases everything from painting to sculpture to digital film. Trestle offers art classes (“Drink & Paint,” anyone?) in addition to its artist residencies and curator talks.
SATISFY A MAJOR CRAVING
The neighborhood embodies the ethos of New York City’s “melting pot,” and it’s no truer than in the cuisine you’ll find here. Visit Tacos El Bronco and Ricos Tacos for traditional (and cheap) tacos, or devote an entire day to noshing on some of the finest dim sum the city has to offer. Prime spots include East Harbor Seafood Palace (get the egg tarts) and Kai Feng Fu (home of some of NYC’s best dumplings). Heads up: Bring cash.